Support your local businesses Atmore

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

By Staff
Letter to the Editor
After a little over a year in Atmore, I have experienced a sad couple of days. I learned of the plans to close Atmore's only fine dining establishment.
This hit very close to home for me, since I also own and run a local coffee shop. Some would think that I would view this as a business opportunity, a time to gain more of the lunch crowd. Those were not my thoughts or feelings. The sadness came from the failure of a small business in the town that I now love and call home.
The closing of a business is a blow to all of the businesses located downtown. There comes a realization that any one of us can fall victim to the whims of the dining public, the economy and many factors beyond our control. A fact that is even more sad it that this business experienced its two busiest days during the last two days that they were open. It forces me to ask the citizens of Atmore, "Where were you when your support was needed and could have made the difference between a viable business or another empty building downtown?"
During the course of the last few weeks, I have heard all types of excuses for the lack of patronage to various local establishments. A small business can not be all things to all people, but in a small town, we all work to provide some aspect of what the public tells us that they want. All of us are operating within the confines of financial demands whether you are an employer or employee. For a local business owner, even a small purchase makes a big difference. When residents support a local business, you not only support the efforts of the owners but you support you friends, your neighbors and you fellow church members. The people that we employee all depend on those jobs. The local banks hire tellers to handle the business brought in by small businesses.
Local businesses pay taxes that support our town and all of the expenses that come with local government. Sadly, the closing of any business has far reaching effects on a community. Very few small business owners are becoming wealthy through their efforts. We are trying to make a fair living and offer our employees a stable income.
Please keep these things in mind the next time you decide where you want to shop or eat. Spending your money in Atmore keeps Atmore alive and well. We may be on the verge of some very strong growth, but we do not want to lose the identity of our historic downtown to chain restaurants and corporate giants.
The merchants of Atmore need your support. You, the citizens of Atmore, make the difference in our success or failure.
Annie Nowak

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